ENG 112 Syllabus Composition and Literature

ENG 112 Composition and Literature: Crossing Boundaries: Lessons from Travel
“You go away for a long time and return a different person–you never come all the way
back.”–Paul Theroux
“All men’s gains are the fruit of venturing”–Herodotus
Instructor: Joe Franklin
Day/Time: MWF 8:30am-9:25am
Location: 256 Bachelor Hall
Office: Boyd 212
Office Hours: Friday 11:00-2:00 (other times by appointment)
Email: [email protected]
Travel is something we are able to do with somewhat unprecedented ease in these
modern times, but is it always meaningful? What does it even mean to travel? We will
examine texts in an attempt to understand this very human impulse to discover, to leave
home, to get lost, and to intellectually grow. We will imagine far away places and bend
our ears to the sounds and stories of unfamiliar spaces. We will seek them out, interrogate
them and then tell others what we find.
There will be four inquiries: a close reading, a cultural/historical analysis, a creative
critical composition, and a final portfolio/reflection. We will build on skills of research
and rhetorical analysis while adding textual analysis and style concepts to our analytical
repertoire. Culture and theory and identity will play larger roles in class discussion as
well as the composition process.
20%: Inquiry 1: A Close Reading: You will work to really squeeze all the possible
meaning out of a short text and present your analysis in an essay. Leading up to this we
will develop some vocabulary and practice the skill of closely reading, researching, and
20%: Inquiry 2: A Cultural/Historical Analysis: You will choose, from a list of books,
one text you would like to analyze and learn more about the time and place that informed
the text. You will really see how setting can influence meaning as we interpret places that
seem distant.
20%: Inquiry 3: A Creative/Critical Composition: By this point in the semester, we will
have discussed a lot about what it means to travel, and you will plan, execute, and
document a journey for yourself. Your travel may occur any time in the Semester up until
the date of the first draft on 4/14.
20% Inquiry 4: Final Portfolio/Reflection: You will look back on the work of the
semester and reflect on the progress you have made.
20%: Attendance/Participation: This component will grade in-class participation in
writing and discussion, as well as homework completion, and overall contribution to the
class’s learning.
By the end of English 112, you will gain skills in the following areas:
Textual Analysis
o Your writing will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how texts work, and
how texts hold multiple meanings and effects depending on audience and context.
o You will be able to perform critical, close reading and make arguments using evidence
from text(s).
o You’ll gain an understanding how texts can be read differently in different rhetorical,
historical, and cultural situations.
Rhetorical Knowledge
o Building on and reviewing the understanding of rhetorical devices and strategies
taught in English 109 and 111, you will be asked to apply this knowledge to the texts you
encounter in English 112.
o You will learn how to write effectively for different contexts, audiences, purposes, and
genres (particularly academic contexts, audiences, purposes, and genres)
Inquiry, invention, and research
o You’ll learn how to develop good intellectual inquiry questions, conduct researchbased inquiries, and use invention techniques effectively to explore your own and others’
o You will be expected to engage different perspectives and to develop your ideas on
those perspectives into sustained arguments or narratives.
o You will learn effective and ethical methods for locating, evaluating, integrating, and
citing secondary sources of information.
Composing process
o You will develop effective strategies for generating ideas, researching topics,
producing drafts, revising, peer responding, editing and proofreading your own writing,
and circulating that writing via print and electronic media.
Organization, style, and revision
o You will produce organized writing that is stylistically effective for particular
audiences in specific contexts.
o Your writing will show evidence of careful proofreading and attention to mechanics,
appropriate to audience and context.
o You will reflect on and articulate an understanding of your own reading and writing
1) Academic Integrity / Plagiarism
The assumption in English 111 is that the writing you submit is your own original writing
— that is, produced originally for this class. To copy someone else’s writing without
acknowledging that use is an act of academic as well as professional dishonesty, whether
you borrow an entire report or a single sentence. The most serious forms of academic
dishonesty are to “buy” an entire paper; or to have someone else write an assignment for
you; or to turn in someone else’s entire paper (or significant portions of an existing piece
of writing) and call it your own. These forms of dishonesty constitute serious breaches of
academic integrity. If you have doubts about whether or not you are using your own or
others’ writing ethically, ask the instructor. For further details about Academic Integrity
at Miami University — including a detailed list of examples of academic dishonesty and
procedures and penalties for dealing with instances of academic dishonesty — see
2) Attendance
Success in this course is not possible without regular attendance since much of our
learning happens via in-class activities. You are allowed 3 absences for free, excused or
unexcused, so save them for something like an unforeseen illness, family emergency, or
some live music/culturally significant event, if you’re into that. Whatever the reason, use
them wisely. Every absence after 3 will result in a one tier reduction of your course grade
(A to A-, A- to B+, B+ to B, and so forth). There will be times when we meet
individually for conferences in lieu of class. Missing or showing up late to a conference
will result in an absence. If you are absent on the day we sign up for conferences (marked
on the course calendar), please make sure to get in touch with me.
3) Tardiness
Two late arrivals equals an absence. After I take attendance it’s a tardy.
4) Late Work
All assignments must be turned in on time. Final grades on papers will be downgraded
one whole grade for each day late (for example A to B). There will, however, be a one
time only 48 hour pass, because life happens. No questions asked. Once.
6) Backing up Work
Please make sure to have a plan for backing up all of your digital work in multiple places
in case of computer failure. Please also make sure to save all of the writing you complete
for class.
7) Community
This class will rely heavily on active participation from all students. We will be meeting
in groups daily in order to help you identify your own perspectives and beliefs in relation
to your peers; therefore, I expect you to arrive to each session ready to participate and
contribute to the discussion. While we will often engage in vigorous and lively debate in
this class, personal insults or attacks on an individual person’s race, class, gender,
sexuality, or disability will not be tolerated. In other words, be courteous and respectful
to those around you. This includes silencing your cell phone and refraining from texting.
We will regularly use computers for in-class writing, research, and collaboration, but
please refrain from using the computers for non-class activities. This course will benefit
you most if everyone shows up to class ready to be actively and productively involved in
the learning process.
8) Access / Accommodations
If you have a disability, please speak with me early in the semester so that we can work
out a way for both of us to succeed as a student and a teacher. If there is any way that I
can adapt this course to better meet your unique needs as a learner, please let me know! If
you have a documented disability, I am especially interested in providing any
accommodations that have been best determined by you and the Office of Disability
Resources (http://www.units.muohio.edu/oeeo/odr/; 513-529-2541) in advance.
9) Niihka / Daily Schedule. The daily course schedule and more detailed assignment
prompts will be available on niihka. The course schedule is subject to change based on
the needs and interests of the class. You are responsible for regularly checking niihka for
10) Grading Scale.
A 100-94%
A- 93-90%
B+ 89-87%
B 86-84%
B- 83-80%
C+ 79-77%
C 76-74%
C- 73-70%
D+ 69-67%
D 66-64%
D- 63-60%
F 59% and below
• Your classmates. Rely on one another for the questions you have regarding the
readings, the work we’re doing in class, software we may be using, etc. You all,
both individually and as a collective, embody a vast bank of knowledge and
• Your Instructor. I will do all I can to assist you in succeeding in this course. Feel free
to meet with me during my office hours or another scheduled time. Email is a
reliable way to contact me and I will try my best to respond in a timely manner.
• IT Support (513-529-7900; [email protected]; 317 hughes hall) The IT support desk
is the main point of contact for technology questions at Miami, including issues
with connecting to MU wireless.
• Howe (King Library) and Windate (18 Peabody) Writing Centers. The Howe Writing
Center is located on the main floor of King Library. The Center is staffed with
writing consultants from many different academic areas. In a one-on-one
workshop, a staff member will consult with you concerning work-in-progress,
final drafts, research style, and many other aspects of writing. It is best to
schedule an appointment ahead of time, but you may also walk in on days when
they have consultants available. For further information, visit the student
resources site at http://writingcenter.lib.muohio.edu/.
• The Student Counseling Service. Located in the Health Services Center, this office
provides a wide range of counseling services. For more information, call 513-5294634.
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